tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 29, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
tonight. i appreciate it. that's "the ed show." "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening. i never thought i'd see deer hunting be a factor in an election. i guess that's what it's going to be. >> not in this way. thank you. i appreciate it. thanks to you at home for staying with us. polls are closed in the great state of texas where the presidential primaries on the republican and democratic sides provide about as much suspense as the question whether or not the sun will rise tomorrow. with republican senator kay bailey hutchison to retire, there's a running for a candidate to replace her. it's been a battle of the republican republicans. rick perry has endorsed his lieutenant governor in the senate race in texas today by virtue of that endorsement, the lieutenant governor is the republican establishment candidate for kay bailey hutchison senate seat. he does have a challenger who
has been endorsed by the artist formally known as the alaska governor sarah palin. if neither the perry endorsed lieutenant governor nor the palin endorsed general gets 50% of the vote in the senate race in texas tonight, they will be in a run off at the end of july. at this hour here are the latest results that we have in that race. in the texas senate race with 32% in. david dewhurst is at 47%. ted cruz at 29%. again, one of these candidates has to go above 50% to avoid a runoff. we'll be watching that tonight. this is the race to watch tonight in texas although there's some other down ballot action there. at the tip top of the ticket, there's some news even though
there's not been much suspense. nbc news is projecting that mitt romney is the winner in texas and importantly, that he will win enough delegates in texas tonight to clinch the republican nomination for president. texas has ended up having a really important role to play in the presidential race. we will no longer after tonight have to call mitt romney the de facto nominee. thanks to texas tonight, mitt romney will be the republican party's presidential projected nominee full stop. as i said, this is not a surprise. once everybody else was out of the race and before everybody was out of race, you can do the math easy. you can figure out mitt romney would be clinching the nomination and it's likely to
happen tonight. you can figure out in advance that mitt romney was going to clinch in texas. john mccain clinched the nomination in texas as well. this is the readily evident milestone you can see coming from a long way off. given they knew this was going to happen, how did the romney campaign plan for it. how did they plan to mark this big day? how did they plan this win that locked up the nomination for their candidate? they arranged for him to be in las vegas for some reason. he was in las vegas meeting with sheldon adelson. the world's 14th richest man and the person who has given more money this campaign cycle than anybody else in american politics. he was the one that almost single handedly funded the newt gingrich campaign.
he's already spent 25 million bucks this year. he's said he's happy to spend 100 million bucks this year. importantly, he has been lukewarm so far on whether he's going to spend that sort of money on mitt romney specifically. when conservatives were trying to decide on newt gingrich or rick santorum as the alternative to mr. romney. when conservatives were wondering if one should be pressured to drop out in order to give conservatives a better shot, sheldon adelson made it clear that not only was newt gingrich his first choice, but he didn't like rick santorum at all. he made clear he would not support rick santorum if he became the nominee. he said he could ultimately support mitt romney. when it started to become clear that mitt romney was going to be the nominee, mr. adelson started publicly criticizing him. >> the problem with romney and i've talked to romney many, many times, he's not the bold decision maker like newt gingrich is. he doesn't want to, every time i talk to him, he says let me
think about it. everything i've said to mitt, let me look into it. he's like obama. >> he's like obama. mitt romney, according to sheldon adelson is like obama and he doesn't mean it in a good way. he says he has another $75 million he would like to donate, but he's been lukewarm on mitt romney today. today was a big deal for mitt romney. his one-on-one meeting with sheldon adelson. if he could be charming, it would result in large mitt romney payday. that very important meeting, that very important prospect was overshadowed by other mitt romney news. the other rich guy that romney met with in las vegas today. picture is worth a thousands words, right? the second major las vegas event that mitt romney is doing today, on the day he clinches the republican nomination is this fund-raiser with a man named donald trump. donald trump who mitt romney has ma c
campaign. less than a year ago donald trump was considering a run for president. he was campaigning for the job largely by alleging the president of the united states was not really the president of the united states. he intimated that president obama is secretly foreign. that was the basis of the donald trump flash in the pan candidacy years ago. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? i think she should. three weeks ago when i started, i thought he was born in this country and now i have doubt. >> based on what? >> his grandmother said he was born in kenya and she was there and witnessed the birth. he doesn't have a birth certificate or he hasn't shown it.
if you are going to be the president of the united states you have to be born in this country and there's a doubt as to whether or not he is. >> that little brain curdling wallow in celebrity driven up chuck came to an abrupt end about one year ago when on a wednesday afternoon, the president of the united states held a press conference at the white house to release his freaking birth certificate, to put that nonsense to rest. that was on a wednesday afternoon. three days later on saturday, it was the white house correspondence dinner where the president devoted a significant portion of his remarks to making fun of donald trump for the birth certificate nonsense. it was not until the following day that we learned while the president was holding the birth certificate press concerns and delivering the jokes at donald trump's expense. he was overseeing the operation to kill osama bin laden in pakistan. no, donald trump would not be
running for president and his little birther moment was not only a humiliation for him but anybody that wasted a single fire of neuron listening to him. donald trump as a political figure was over. quietly and very soon thereafter, it was mitt romney who brought him back. we got the announcement that bin laden was killed on may 1st. by september mitt romney was meeting in manhattan with donald trump, seek what? advice, endorsement? you would want an endorsement? yes, you would. he flies out to accept in person an official endorsement from mr. trump. >> there are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. this is one of them. being in donald trump's magnificent hotel is a delight.
i want to say thank you for the endorsement. it mean a great deal to have the endorsement of mr. trump. >> that was february of this year. two months after that in april, donald trump through a 63rd birthday for ann romney at trump tower. a birthday bash complete with this sugar coated depiction of mrs. romney atop a horse. abc news was able to report all told the donald has recorded more than 30 robocalls for the campaign and done more than 50 interviews. you want the september meeting. you have the february endorsement. you have the april birthday party. you have dozens of calls, dozens of surrogate interviews and today, the day he clinches the nomination, he's hosting a romney campaign fund-raiser in las vegas. mr. romney is a center piece of
the campaign. the the seal of the approval that gives him, donald trump is busy advancing his main and only political message. >> is it is most important thing? in a way it is because you're not allowed to be president if you're not born in the country. let's see what happens. a lot of people are questioning his birth certificate. they are questioning the authenticity of his birth certificate. there's some major questions here and that press doesn't want to cover it. the press refuses to cover it. a lot of people do not think it was authentic. >> how can you say that? >> many people do not think it was authentic. his mother was not in the hospital. you analyzed the birth certificate. there are many people that don't agree. they don't think it's authentic. >> that was not stuff from last
year when donald trump was fake running for president in order to get himself some attention. that's what's happening now while mitt romney is holding this fund-raiser with him. asked how he can stomach raising money with and campaign with and co-hosting events with someone saying that stuff about the president, mr. romney displayed this profile in courage. >> i don't agree with all the people who support me. i guess they don't agree with everything i believe in. i need to get 50.1% or more. i'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people. >> i need to get 50.1% or more, whatever it takes. this fund-raiser tonight with mitt romney and donald trump is expected to raise $2 million for the romney campaign. $2 million is $2 million. mr. romney is in the business of chasing campaign money around the country right now. his two stops in las vegas is with a casino billionaire and with donald trump. he's chasing money right now.
$2 million for somebody like mitt romney is not all that much money. he dropped more than $40 million of his own money on his failed campaign back in 2008. this time around he's only spent about $150,000 of his own money so far. $2 million is nothing to mitt romney. it's the kind of money he might have in his wallet at any one moment or maybe in his wallet and under the mattress at the la hoya mansion. it's the $2 million that he is raising at the fund-raiser really worth for his campaign and for the republican party and the country for him to be endorsing this nonsense? mitt romney has punted this to us now by taking donald trump's side. we have to figure out where you're the kind of country where you gain more votes than you lose by associating yourself with an insane conspiracy theory like this. if you're mitt romney, you think you're the kind of country where this will earn you votes. earn you more than you lose.
you do the fund-raiser and play into it by releasing your own birth certificate on the day of the donald trump fund-raiser which mitt romney did today and you come up with some way to look in the mirror and hope that history forgives you. joining us is john. great to see you. >> thank you. >> there's no tape of mitt romney and donald trump together. do we know whether or not mr. romney commented on the birth certificate thing at the event? >> we know this evening mitt romney has joked about the birth place requirement in the constitution, the age requirement by in the service of saying i think there ought to be a business experiment requirement. what that tells me, the fact that he's willing to joke about that, the fact he releases a birth certificate, tills me they are not scared about the
backlash here, and they have decided to adopt a posture of we're not going to knuckle under to rachel and to msnbc and to other people who might be associated with the left or the obama campaign who want us to apologize and run away from donald trump. i think that appears to be a calculation that they have made. in one sense i think it may be justified. donald trump is such a well-known clown on his own, right? people don't take him seriously for reasons that proceeded mitt romney that had to do with donald trump's persona. i think it's possible that voters out there who might be casually absorbing this aren't going to associate it with romney as with trump himself. >> do they see they are mainstreaming him and his one stated political view by doing this? >> to some degree, they are
generating blow back for themselves. i think the universe in which that blow back associated with the mainstreaming that you mentioned is fairly small and may not be determinative in the places they most scare about. >> in republican circles and in the romney campaign and the way that beltway politico's talk about what happened in 2008, is it becoming the retrospective history of the john mccain campaign he would have done better against obama and biden had he gone more with the birther stuff that romney seems more comfortable with? >> it would appear to be some consultants who make that argument. i think john mccain had a bad hand in 2008. that hand might had been worse had he gone to the birther stuff. the one other thing i would say in terms of the mainstreams of this, i'm not sure that donald trump has the capacity to mainstream anything. as i mentioned, the guys a
clown. >> you're doing a named fund-raiser, making robocalls. aren't you raising that clown to much more seriousness than he would be given? >> i guess but how serious can donald trump become? people have seen the bluster, the silly television show. all of that stuff doesn't lend itself to people seeing him as a serious political figure. he has a business profile. there may be some tiny sliver of voters who assign some credibility to that. i think donald trump is about money. today is about money. mitt romney is raising money. he met with sheldon adelson. he's given $25 million this year. to me that's what the central purpose of romney campaign is about today. >> wow.
this is the sort of development in a presidential race that having lived with mitt romney as governor, i never would have seen this coming. thank you, john. it's nice to have you here. >> you bet. >> his political column for the new york times is called the political memo. the odds are getting sharply better that we will watch election returns in november when something really funky change the results of whole thing happens in the great state of florida. florida shenanigans, this year's version. that's next. it's gonna be a casual thing.
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in the run up to the presidential election year, that year, 2000, the state of florida undertook a massive purge of the voter roles. it was undertook by jeb bush and kathryn harris. the stated goal of the florida voter purge was to make sure that felons who lost their right to vote in florida would not be permitted to vote by mistake in that year's election. the goal is to remove the ineligible names from the voter registration list. here is how that went. the private company that florida contracted to purge the voter registration rolls gave state officials a list of 8,000 ex- felons to remove from the voter
rolls. not a single one of them had been convicted of felonies, only misdemeanors, they could still vote. lists like they were used all over florida. more than half of the voters on a list of probable felons to be purged in duval county were not felons. in clay county, 71% of the the voters on a list of ineligible felons should not have been on that list. in leon county, they were only able to verify that 5% of the voters they were told to scrub off had criminal records. under the leadership of george w. bush's brother, the governor, florida officials targeted 173,000 names for removal from the state's voter rolls ahead of the 2000 election. democrats argued at that time that the list affected african-american voters who were voting for al gore in that
election at rate of about 90%. george w. bush won the state of florida by 537 votes. that is what gave us as a country, president george w. bush. a 537 vote margin in a state that just implemented a sketchy purge of more than 170,000 people off its voter rolls. here we are in another year and florida republicans are purging voter rolls. rick scott has started a push this election cycle to remove potential noncitizens from florida's voter registration rolls. over the last several weeks the state sent local election supervisors a list of more than 2600 registered voters who are not u.s. citizens and not eligible to vote. they are responded wearily and pointed out inaccuracies.
one tweeted this photo with a real live u.s. citizen and registered florida voter who was incorrectly targeted by the state of florida as a noncitizen. the voter is the guy on the left there holding up his passport. that's his u.s. passport. he is a citizen. he was purged from the rolls. the folks at think progress have been writing up the stories of other u.s. citizens wrongly targeted by the voter purge in florida like marine russo who was born in akron, ohio. she got this letter in the mail telling her, quote, the broward county supervisor of elections office has received information from the state of florida that you're not a united states citizen. if you believe this information is false, you may request a hearing with the supervisor of elections for the purpose of providing proof that you are a
united states citizen. the state of florida is saying to this woman, miss russo, papers please. if she doesn't prove she's a citizen, the state will take away her right to vote. why? who knows. this also this gentleman. he's a 91-year-old world war ii veteran. he was born in brooklyn. he's lived in florida for 14 years. he's never had trouble voting. this year the state of florida is demanding he prove his citizenship. >> i voted for the last 15 years. i voted in brooklyn when i lived in brooklyn. i really don't understand it.
to me social security like an insult. >> as it happens, there's pattern emerging among the florida voters. the state is trying to remove from the voters rolls this year. the miami herald has been studying the list. they have found hispanic, democrat and independent minded voters are likely to be targeted. only 13% of the list is white even though 68% of florida voters is white. the big voter purge going on in florida right now in addition to be riddled with flat out errors is disproportionately targeting two groups that are shaping up to be for obama in this presidential race. democrats and latinos among whom president obama holds a 34-point nationwide lead. that's who is being purged.
from the state that gave us a 537 margin vote victory in the year 2000 and trying to revoke voting rights. what could possibly go wrong? joining us now is michael waltman. thanks very much for your time. nice to have you here. >> great to be with you. >> having studied voting rights cases all around the country and over time, what do you think is the motivation for what's going on in florida right now, and what do you think is the outcome? >> it's true for election fiasco buffs, the question is what's going to be the next florida? and what do you know, florida. this comes on top of many other problems with the way we run elections and things that have sought to kick people off the rolls or make it harder for people to vote. the problem with this massive purge, and as you said it's 180,000 people.
when you do something like this this close to the election and do it in secret and do it without double checking, there's no choice but to have errors, to have legitimate people kicked off the rolls. it's a not way to make elections secure and safe. >> i think you note the important timing on this. it's so close to the election. it's by a process where the problems don't seem to be able to be headed off by people are told you're not going to be able to vote or intimidated from trying. given the way this is essentially running up toward the election, is there way to stop this sort of thing. is there way to fix it? >> there's one way, which is that the justice department which has the obligation to pre-clear things under section five of the voting rights act could say this affects the voting right offense minorities. it's public opinion, public
attention and the reaction of local officials, some of whom you showed who are not in this really to make partisan points but try to do a difficult job of running elections. those kind of push backs can make a difference. already the state of florida just recently said, maybe we ought to double check this before we start purging people. the more people yell, maybe the more impact it will have. once we're done with the partisan shenanigans which we're seeing in florida so much this year and elsewhere, we really ought to modernize our voter registration system. if we put aside these fights and said let's make sure that everybody that is eligible to vote and the government has an obligation to put them on the roll and keep them there and use computer records, that's the kind of thing that could add tens of millions of people to the rolls nation wide and curb fraud for people that are worried about fraud. mickey mouse doesn't have a social security number even in orlando where he lives.
we could get past this easily. it raises a lot of questions about whether it's politically motivated. >> that type of reform would mean people want people to vote and don't want them purging the system for people that will will want them to vote for their candidate. michael waltman. we consult your work a lot in trying to understand the context for the voting changes that have come up. thanks for your work. thanks for joining us here tonight. >> thank you. when something happens in the world that puts russia on the same side of matters as the united states, that is often genuine news. plus the united states senator has crossed an important line
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three years ago, iranians protesting a rigged presidential election in their country were met in the streets by these guys. obviously, some coordinated force. they are not wearing uniforms. they are the kind of malitia operating at the government. they are going after and killing protesters. because they are out of uniform the government doesn't have to answer for their actions. they are deniable. >> reporter: with club, tear gas and ax, witnesses say iran crush ed demonstrators who dared to be in the streets. outnumbered by several thousands security forces included the malitia. often in plain clothing has used crude weapons including sticks, access, chains and machetes. >> one year ago, we got the same
deal in a different country. same deal, different country, same idea. the protesters in egypt, in cairo were chased and beaten in one of the most surreal sites of the revolution. people do not generally ride around on camels in a city of seven million people. one of the ways they attacked opposition forces in cairo was been riding horses and camels into the crowd to terrify, trample and beat people. >> reporter: egypt ordered crackdown against anti-government demonstrators but not with troops, tanks or uniformed police. instead it sent in goon squads. it was immediately clear these were not demonstrators. thousands charge into the square. the protesters unarmed were caught off guard by the surprise attack.
they rushed the protesters on horse back and with camels. >> as in iran two years before, they were an important part of the way the government was using force against its own people. they try to use the military. they definitely use police and other uniform forces but to be able to use out of uniform force s way to employ violence against your own people in ways you do not want to have to defend or explain. you can direct them to do anything you want and you can deny responsibility for everything they do. that's what the u.s. government says is happening now in yet another country, in syria where a 15-month uprising is blamed for between 9,000 and 12,000
deaths already. more than 100 of those deaths occurred at once on friday. 108 people killed. 83 of them women and children. a u.n. investigation says many of the deaths appear to be summary executions. whole families shot inside their houses. just wiped out. the u.n. report doesn't say who committed the killings. witnesses, including one survivor and only survived thanks to being left for dead said most of the killings were committed by pro-government militia men acting for the government but while not wearing uniforms. true to type, the syrian government says it's not responsibility for what happened this weekend. they are blaming the massacre on
terrorists. the u.s. government says it was the syrian malitia and they are being aided and abetted by syria's last stone ally in the world, the iranians. russia had been something close to an ally but the massacre appears to be too much for russia. russia joined the rest of the u.n. security council in condemning them. france, britain, canada, italy, spain, australia and us announcing they are kicking out syria's top diplomats as a protest. >> this morning we called in syrian fairs and informed he's no longer welcome to the united states and gave him 72 hours to depart. we took this action in response to the massacre in the village. absolutely vile, despicable massacre against innocent children, women, shot at point-blank range by regime
thugs that should be aided and abetted by the iranians who were bragging about it over the weekend. the fact that assad has to call in the thugs, has to hire thugs to go do his dirty bidding and get outside aid from his only friend left speaks to his desperation. >> joining us is p.j. crowley. he's a retired colonel that served 26 years in the air force. thanks for being here. >> thank you. >> it's awful enough without knowing who did it. the state department emphasizing not that it was just malitia but aided by iran. is that the most important part of this?
>> it's one of two. the report highlighted the other which is where does russia go since syria is it's most significant remaining client state in the middle east. it's entry into influence in the region. >> in terms of the iranian involvement and the fact this may have been, we can't say for sure but signs and witnesses say it may have been carried out by government supported malitia. does that change the fact they feel like they have to answer for this sort of thing? what are they sensitive to at this point? >> it allows them to hide the ball. syria has agreed to a six-point plan for the u.n. and arab league. by shifting from the military, which has carried much of the burden of firing on its own people now to the non-uniformed personnel, he's able to listen and say syria's reached a
sipping point and not admit he's the one that brought syria to this tipping point where you could see very significant sectarian violence develop. >> does it apply that he has worries about his own military? he's been using the military to attack his own people. doesn't seem like that's stopping although there's some to make it look like it's stopping. could that be a rift there? >> not necessarily. what is true of syria is also true of iran. iran has held onto the loyalty of the iranian security forces. assad has held on for now. the other group are the elites, the business elites that have developed over the past 10 to 20 years. that's one of challenges of the national community to pull these elites away from the regime. some minorities that are hedging their bet and still backing assad.
then they might recalculate much as the egyptian military that their interest lies separate. >> how do you feel that the u.s. and the international community at large is doing at trying to drive those wedges? at trying to turn some of the syrian elite against assad and the military? >> that's russia has become pivotal. they have provided security protection. they provided economic and military support. syria remains one of russia's primary, if not most significant markets for arms in the middle east. if russia, now recalculates based on hula, maybe they will, but i think this is perhaps the beginning of a process where
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ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biolog medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. those pesky internets are making it harder and harder and harder to completely mislead the voting public. darn you internet machine. a telltale story of obfuscation and preverification coming up.
nevada's u.s. senator dean helder got his seat the easy way. mr. helder is a republican, he was already serving in congress when nevada's u.s. senator at the time john ensign called it quits instead of sticking around to deal with the aftermath of his affair with his staffer and a $96,000 check written to that staffer from his parents. senator john ensign of nevada left the senate a year ago and so nevada's republican governor got to make an appointment to replace senator ensign. the governor appointed senator helder to the seat. he now has to keep the seat. president obama beat john mccain in nevada by 13 points in 2008. anybody thought anyone republican with a pulse could beat him in nevada. but harry reid head on to his state. it was a cake walk for mr. helder to become a senator, it's not going to be a cake walk to keep it. growing the economy, he says cut
the deficit, cut regulations, also creating jobs, this he lists as a separate category and for this he wants to cuts energy spending, he's got energy independence, health care reform and foreclosures. he's got independence up there and israel, and also in the i section, he's got immigration reform. nevada's electorate is 15% latino. but the las vegas son wrote how dean helder is going to make him a hard sell. heller has sponsored legislation to limit election ballots to english only. dean heller has also supported a bill to end birth right citizenship. so no matter how he tries to craft his appeal, it's going to be hard to escape the that is correct that dean heller has spent his time in washington to making it harder for hispanics. it's going to be hard to get away from that record to win over latino voters in nevada. you want to see how he's trying
to do it? this is amassing. >> there's this tiny little tile, see there? basically together with heller, click there and you get dean heller en espaniol. dean heller had all those positions, foreclosure, creating jobs, here's dean helder in the english section of his website. businesses who knowingly hire immigrants must be accountable. >> fearless hold the line conservatism, how does that hold for the dean heller on es span yoel. in the spanish language part of his website, there is none of that stuff, none of that i oppose amnesty crackdown on anybody who hires an illegal immigrant. dean heller decided that it did not translate to the spanish
language part of his website. nevada students trying to learn english along with their regular studies. dean with a record like that, i am not sure that latino voters are ever going to get behind dean heller for senate. not a single one of you is capable of hitting the google translate button that appears when you click on dean heller's two-faced bilingual campaign. this hour, nbc news can project that mitt romney has won the presidential primary in texas and that he has thereby clinched the delegates he needs for the nomination for president. and history will show forever that he spent the evening with
nevada students trying to learn english along with their regular studies. dean with a record like that, i am not sure that latino voters are ever going to get behind dean heller for senate. not a single one of you is translate button that appears when you click on dean heller's two-faced bilingual campaign.
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